Recommending Books to Be Exchanged Online in the Absence of Wish Lists

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An online exchange system is a web service that allows communities to trade items without the burden of manually selecting them, which saves users' time and effort. Even though online book‐exchange systems have been developed, their services can further be improved by reducing the workload imposed on their users. To accomplish this task, we propose a recommendation‐based book exchange system, called EasyEx, which identifies potential exchanges for a user solely based on a list of items the user is willing to part with. EasyEx is a novel and unique book‐exchange system because unlike existing online exchange systems, it does not require a user to create and maintain a wish list, which is a list of items the user would like to receive as part of the exchange. Instead, EasyEx directly suggests items to users to increase serendipity and as a result expose them to items which may be unfamiliar, but appealing, to them. In identifying books to be exchanged, EasyEx employs known recommendation strategies, that is, personalized mean and matrix factorization, to predict book ratings, which are treated as the degrees of appeal to a user on recommended books. Furthermore, EasyEx incorporates OptaPlanner, which solves constraint satisfaction problems efficiently, as part of the recommendation‐based exchange process to create exchange cycles. Experimental results have verified that EasyEx offers users recommended books that satisfy the users' interests and contributes to the item‐exchange mechanism with a new design methodology.